Autumn is nearly here, my favourite season. The days still warm with a promise of sun, the nights cool enough to sleep comfortably. Fields full and hedgerows heavy, a feeling of ripeness and depth in the land. The trees start turning to gold, bittersweet before the barrenness of winter. It’s a season when, for some reason, I revisit old memories, the cool air and smoky scent of fallen leaves and bonfires waking something inside, as though I’m looking through treasured pages before putting them away, safe for winter.
OK, it’s not really an update that autumn is almost here – it’s probably pretty obvious to any of my northern hemisphere readers (and in the south, spring is on its way!). But I do have a couple of writing updates to share.
The first is that the team at Writers & Artists, the Bloomsbury community website, have asked me to write a guest blog about my experiences trying to get published. Yay! It’s now live on their site and you can visit it here:
And I’ve had another request for a full manuscript. As regular readers of this blog may know, this is the second request for me; the first one, sadly, didn’t work out. But on reflection I really do think it was for the best, that the agent in question wasn’t right for me, and I wasn’t right for them.
This time it’s a publisher who has asked for the full MS, which is very exciting. So I’ve sent it off with fingers crossed and will of course update as to what happens.
Note: There is a school of thought that states you shouldn’t discuss full manuscript requests, that agents may wonder why it is that someone else didn’t go with your book, if it’s so good. My answer to that is that this is a subjective process and that my book just didn’t resonate with that particular person. We’ve all read books that we’ve had to put down, unable to finish for whatever reason, yet they were still published. Even the best of the best sellers have been rejected at some point or another. And as this blog is about about my experiences as a writer on this journey to get my books published, I wouldn’t be being honest if I didn’t document the highs and the lows of the process.
So agents, if any of you are reading this, don’t take my previous rejections as being some sort of indicator of the quality of my work. All it means is that I haven’t found the right person yet. Who knows, it might be you. xx
Hi I’ve just read your interview and it really hit a cord with me! I am about to re enter the submission process with a new project. I have been down the road before, the waiting, the requests for fulls, the standard rejections, the glimmers of hope with personal feedback. Time to jump back in and see what happens. Best of luck to you on your search, I’ve signed up for your updates so will follow your journey.
Hi Suzanne – thanks for the kind words and the follow. Best of luck with your journey as well, let me know what happens!
Absolutely, it is a subjective process. Of course it is. Nobody has exactly the same tastes in food, clothes, interior décor, holiday destinations, whatever and yet we (by which I mean the collective writing “we”) all too frequently get sad or huffy or despondent or all three when one agent doesn’t like our work enough to represent us. An elderly friend of mine, who sadly died recently, had a favourite saying: per ardua ad astra (through infinity to the stars). It works for so many aspects of life.
Oh Louise, that quote is lovely, and I agree, it works in so many ways. xx
I’m looking forward to following your journey. I’m perhaps-maybe-nearly ready to start sending my manuscript out, too. I don’t think it’s as good as it could be, but I don’t believe I’ll ever think it’s as good as it could be! I let it sit for a couple of months and picked it up again last night. I read the first three chapters and was pleasantly surprised! It’s amazing what a bit of a time away and some distance can give …
Oh Louise that is so true! Time away from our work is part of the process, I think, as it gives us a fresh perspective when we come back to it. And the fact you were pleasantly surprised bodes well for your book – best of luck with sending it out and look forward to hearing about what happens, I’m sure it will be great.